21 October 2007

Soyuz TMA-10 returns to Earth

ZUI this article from ABC News:
A Soyuz craft veered off its designated course Sunday, landing more than 200 miles short of its original destination on the steppes of Kazakhstan. It arrived safely, bringing two Russian cosmonauts and Malaysia's first space traveler back to Earth, officials said.

A computer glitch caused the landing capsule carrying Russians Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov and Malaysian Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor to end up about 210 miles west of the designated site near Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, Russia's Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said.

The craft arrived at 6:36 EDT one minute ahead of schedule and the crew was unharmed, he said.

Russian search and rescue teams quickly located the craft, NASA reported on its Web site. It said all the three crew members were feeling fine.

This article from Spaceflight Now adds further details:
The spacecraft undocked from the aft port of the Russian Zvezda command module around 3:14 a.m. EDT. Yurchikhin fired the capsule's braking rockets for four minutes beginning at 5:47 a.m. to begin the hourlong descent. At 6:14 a.m., the craft reached the discernible atmosphere at an altitude of 400,000 feet.

Plunging back to Earth from west to east over central Kazakhstan, the flight plan called for a landing near the town of Arkalyk. But for reasons yet to be explained, the Soyuz flew a steeper-than-planned trajectory and landed short of the intended touchdown point, subjecting the crew to higher-than-normal braking forces. It was the first "ballistic" re-entry since the Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft returned on May 3, 2003, with the space station's sixth full time crew.

Soyuz TMA-10 was launched from Baikonur on 7 April with Yurchikhin, Col Kotov and space tourist Charles Simonyi, who returned to Earth on 21 April aboard Soyuz TMA-9. Shukor traveled to the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-11, which was launched 10 October and is scheduled to return next April.

No comments: